SEPA issue ‘final warning’ on Mossmorran

An independent watchdog has issued final warning notices on Mossmorran, following an investigation into flaring at the petrochemical plant last June.

The seven-day incident – which sparked 74 complaints from the public –  was both “preventable and unacceptable” and breached environmental controls, according to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

The report concluded the incident was caused by the breakdown of a condensate pump investigators blamed a series of maintenance failures at the plant.

Two further flaring incidents, which took place in October and last month, are still under investigation .

Meanwhile, SEPA has commissioned a full review of the environmental permits at the site, as well as an enhanced programme of air quality monitoring.

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: “I welcome the findings of SEPA’s report and the action it has decided to take on this occasion.

“Communities, who for too long suffered from light and noise pollution associated with flaring at Mossmorran, will be relieved SEPA is finally taking appropriate measures and steps.

“However, this is only the start of a process to get to grips with these issues and, clearly, it’s what happens now to stop flaring episodes in future that will determine whether public confidence can improve

“I have been working on this issue now since being elected and will be hosting a meeting tomorrow, the first to involve all key stakeholders together with cross-party and cross-community representation, and look forward to hearing first-hand the details of SEPA’s report.

“Clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done now and I hope this meeting will provide a first step to determining what can be achieved – and when.”

The meeting takes place at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy on Friday, April 20 and will be chaired by Professor Wilson Sibbett of the Mossmorran and Braefoot Bay Independent Air Quality Monitoring Group.

In addition to representatives from Shell, ExxonMobil and SEPA, the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Fife Council, representatives from all political parties, Mossmorran Action Group and local community councils are expected to attend.

Pic: Alex Noble